Los Angeles is a burger town through and through: from roadside stands slinging old-school griddled patties (we’re looking at you, Bill’s) to the relentless march of new smashburger purveyors, there’s a burger to suit every palate. That said, the city has an abundance of what we’ll call nouveau burgers — versions that tweak the standard formula, which might mean the addition of a French-inspired sauce, a clever cooking technique, or an unexpected combination of ingredients in the patty itself. That’s crucial in a town where everyone’s a burger critic, and burger criticism is a minor art form unto itself.
Nouveau burgers needn’t mean fancy, per se — some come from a takeout window or pop-up kitchen, while others are found only in a sit-down setting. Some, like the Big Mec at Petit Trois (topped with a foie gras-infused red wine bordelaise), require the use of a fork and knife. Others, like the simple-yet-expertly constructed smashburger at Burger She Wrote, strip away the bells and whistles to focus on the craftsmanship of the sandwich itself. All are delicious in their own right.
Here we’ve rounded up a dozen of our favorite newfangled burgers across L.A.